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LIVING OFF THE LAND
June 24, 1997
FSA sets certification date
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - The final date for certifying crops and pastures
with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is July 15, 1997. Certification
should be before harvest, but no later than July 15, 1997.
Required certifications are farms with Agricultural Marketing and
Transition Act (AMTA) contracts and are also producing fruits or
vegetables; farms with FSA CAT crop Insurance; CRP contacts; loans or
loan deficiency payments.
Uninsurable crops and pastures should be certified since these are
covered by the NAP program. NAP is a program that may be beneficial to
producers of fruits and vegetables, alfalfa and livestock owners, should
there be a wide scale disaster in the area.
Crop history for a farm also is a good reason to certify all acreage on
Should a producer fail to certify by July 15, 1997, it will be possible
to late-file a certification; however, a fee will be charged and
evidence of the crop must be in the field. The crop will be measured.
Failure to pay the required fee will result in the report not being
Ranchers should certify their pasture acreage with the FSA for the NAE
program, in the event of a large scale area disaster. When certifying
the natural cover pastures, deeds to the land or valid leases should be
presented (for copying by the FSA) as documentation for the right to
graze. Unplanted acres of contract acres on an AMTA participating farm
must be protected from erosion and weeds must be controlled.
Producers are urged to provide production records to the FSA. These
records need to be well documented. These records are used to administer
the NAP program, figure APH for insurance purposes as well as preserving
Foreign investors purchasing or selling agricultural land must report
these transactions to the FSA office within 90 days of the date of
The FSA office again offers measurement service to the producers.
Certification is required, but may be corrected following completion of
the measurements. This measurement service is done by aerial slides and
requires a nominal fee for the service.
Producers with re-bid or new bid CRP are required to take measurement
service if the CRP tracts are not official acreages or total fields.
Producers need to check with the FSA office on this necessity. This will
require ground measuring and will also require a fee for the service.
Special accommodations will be made upon request, for persons with
disabilities or vision impairment. If accommodations are required,
please call Harold Ross, acting county executive director, at 915-445-2616.
Texas takes aim at boll weevil
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - Texas legislators adopted a bill this session
which is designed to help eradicate the boll weevil when Governor George
W. Bush signed into law the Boll Weevil Eradication Program.
The law addresses the concerns of Texas cotton growers by attempting to
eliminate the insect called "Cotton's Number One Killer." The measure,
which passed unanimously out of both the Texas House and Senate, was
signed by the governor in the presence of the bill's author Senator
Robert Duncan and House sponsors Robert Junell, Charles Finnell, Gene
Seaman and Gary Walker. Also attending were House Agriculture Chairman
Pete Patterson and members David Counts and Judy Hawley.
"Our top priority, with this legislation, was to develop a statewide
program that will eliminate the boll weevil," Duncan said. "Texas needs
to have policy in place to fight this major threat to our economy."
The legislation became necessary after the Texas Supreme Court declared
the current program unconstitutional.
"We went through the bill and made the changes that were necessary to
addresses the concerns of the courts," Duncan said. "We also resolved
the issues that have been ongoing in these eradication zones to gain the
confidence of cotton growers in the Boll Weevil Eradication Program."
Among the key provisions, the legislation will: place control of the
program under the Texas Agriculture Commissioner, including the budget
and policy procedures; require the commissioner to appoint a new board
of directors for the Foundation; eliminate the power to destroy the
cotton crop of farmers who fail to pay assessments; provide for the
Commissioner of Agriculture to establish an interim advisory committee
in each eradication zone, made up of at least one grower per county;
require public hearings in the zones; require elections for the
continuation of the program and for directors every four years; preserve
the prohibition against the use of assessments from one zone to pay
another zone's debt; call for a referendum in the Southern High
Plains/Caprock Zone on August 1 to activate the program.
Counties in the zone are; Andrews, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Dickens,
Gaines, Garza, Hockley, Howard, Kent, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Motley, Terry, Yoakum and parts of Borden and Midland.
Cantaloupe harvest due by end of month
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By RICK SMITH
PECOS, June 24, 1997 - Although onions are still being processed at
Pecos produce plants, thoughts are already turning to the cantaloupe
"We will start shipping cantaloupes around the end of the month," said
Mike Brand, Division Director for Trophy Farms, Inc. located at 1701 W.
"Our cantaloupe group looks excellent, as good or better than we've seen
in the last couple of years."
As Brand spoke about onions and cantaloupes in his office above the
Trophy Farms warehouse on 2nd the sound of a forklift roared downstairs,
and phone calls and truckers with questions interrupted the conversation.
"Where 'bouts in New York am I goin'?" one asked about his load of
onions. While most of the onion and cantaloupe crops shipped from Pecos
are delivered to grocery chains in Texas, one soon learns that some are
shipped as far away as the northeastern states.
Trophy Farms grows cantaloupes on about 350 acres of land around
Coyanosa, about 30 minutes from here. The operations in Pecos and
Coyanosa are satellites of the main company office in McAllen.
Another interruption. A couple have come into Brand's office looking for
work. But they are too late for onions and too early for cantaloupes.
"Sorry, we're in the last day or two for onions and the cantaloupes
won't be in for a couple of weeks," he tells them.
Trophy Farms grows onions on about 100 acres, Brand said. This year the
crop yielded about 500 50-pound bags of onions per acre, according to
When the cantaloupes do come in there will be a window of about six to
eight weeks when cantaloupes will be hot in Pecos.
"Then the California cantaloupes start to hurt the market. Our
cantaloupes are better but we can't compete with them because of the
volume they ship," Brand said.
After waiting for Brand to finish a phone call from someone with a
question about their onion shipment Brand explains that Trophy Farms has
been in Pecos for about 26 years.
"The other day I noticed a tag placed on one of the steel beams by one
of the welders that built this building that was dated 1970," Brand said.
While Brand admitted that the company has seen both hard times and good
times, he said the history of Trophy Farms dates back to the late 1940s
when it was known as the Brand Brothers in Atlanta, Georgia.
Over the years Brand has seen the local cantaloupe harvest move earlier
and earlier each year to get a bigger jump on the California crop.
"I'm glad to see the city move the Cantaloupe Festival up with the
rodeo," he said. "When they held it later in the season, some years
there weren't any cantaloupes left by the time they held the festival."
This year the timing should be just right, with plenty of cantaloupes to
be had during the rodeo and the festival.
Trey Miller, of Pecos Cantaloupe Shed, Inc., said that while Pecos
cantaloupes have been well known for a long time, the melon's reputation
is getting stronger.
"Our cantaloupes have a very strong name recognition," he said. "The
chain stores are calling every day to see when we can start delivering
In addition to onions and cantaloupes, Pecos Cantaloupe Shed also ships
bell peppers and cotton. Miller explained that the peppers have just
been planted and will be harvested in late November or early October,
about the same time as the cotton crop is ready.
In the mean time at both produce plants, forklifts will continue to
drive in and out of the back of tractor-trailer rigs filling the
trailers with sacks of onions, until all the onions are shipped.
Then they will begin loading the trailers with cantaloupes.
Onions move through process of season
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By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, June 24, 1997 - Pecos produce plants are in the final days of
shipping onions as the last of the crops are brought into the packaging
Before onions are brought to the packing shed for processing, they must
be "clipped" in the field, according to Jerry Hartley, Pecos Cantaloupe
Shed, Inc. onion salesman. The onions are undercut with a blade, the
tops and roots are cut off, then they are left to sit in bags for three
to four days to cure before being brought to the packing shed, he said.
Next they are sorted, sized, graded and bagged for sale at the Pecos
Produce onion shed, said Norma Parras, secretary at the packing shed.
Parras said that the shed has about 60 hands this year, including
sorters, stackers and forklift drivers.
According to Parras, about 60 percent of this year's employees worked
for the company last year, and the other 40 percent are new hires.
Prices this year have been about $8 plus freight for a 25-pound bag of
yellow or white onions and $15 plus freight for a 50-pound bag, said
Lindley Workman, secretary at Pecos Cantaloupe.
Hartley said that rains in the southern Texas onion-producing area that
hurt harvests there have not affected local production. He also said
that crops being damaged also did not affect local prices.
What actually will bring a good price for this year's crop are the late freezes here and in New Mexico that decreased the crop, Hartley said.
Aphids can be a problem in Texas landscapes
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - More than 250 species of aphids, often called
"plant lice," feed on agricultural and horticultural crops throughout
the world, and several can be a problem in Texas landscapes.
Many ornamental plants in Texas landscapes are suitable hosts for
aphids, including bedding plants (especially chrysanthemums), ash,
barberry, boxelder, crepe myrtle, jasmine, flowering almond, gardenia,
hibiscus, hydrangea, mountain ash, oaks, oleander, peach, pear, pecans,
pines, roses, vegetables and viburnum.
Aphid infestations can build to severe levels very rapidly because these
insects reproduce very quickly. Infestations can be widespread or
localized to just a few plants, and they may be worse in some years than
Aphids are small insects, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length. They
are soft-bodied and vary in shape and color. Their bodies may be
pear-shaped, globular, oval, spindle-shaped, or elongated, and they may
look black, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, brown, blue-green,
white-marked, or wax-colored.
Even a single species may include several colors and shapes. Aphids may
or may not have wings. Winged forms tend to develop in response to
changes in the environment, such as decreasing daylight or temperature,
deterioration of the host plant, or overcrowding.
The body of the aphid is segmented, and the head is distinct from the
thorax and abdomen. The head bears a pair of segmented antennae and
mouthparts for sucking plant juices.
Toward the rear of the abdomen, a pair of tube like structures, called
"cornicles," can be found on most species. These structures secrete a
defensive fluid. The back end of the body bears the tail and anal
plates. The shape and size of these features and the presence of hairs
(also called "setae") help to identify different aphid species.
The life cycle of aphids is rather unusual and can be complex. Most
aphids reproduce sexually and develop through simple metamorphosis (over
wintering eggs, then nymphs, and then winged or wingless adults), but
they can also reproduce through an asexual process called
"parthenogenesis" (the production of offspring without mating). These
aphids even bear live young, instead of laying eggs.
Most aphids reach sexual maturity in four to 10 days, and the
reproductive period is about three weeks under good environmental
conditions. The average life-span of an adult is about one month.
Despite their relatively short life-spans, aphids can be quite prolific.
In fact, aphids can reproduce faster than any other insect.
The aphid's variable and complicated life cycle can make these insects
difficult to control, because it allows a shortening of time between
generations, overlapping of generations, and increased reproduction -
all of which can increase the rate of development of resistance to
Occasionally, an aphid species seems to disappear from one type of plant
only to reappear some time later. This may be due to a process called
"host plant alternation." These aphids use one plant as the "primary
host" for reproduction. Another plant, perhaps a distantly related one,
is used as a "secondary host" for parthenogenetic reproduction.
Migrants returning to the primary host are winged males and winged
parthenogenic females which produce egg-laying sexual females. Later on,
winged parthenogenic females return to the secondary host. Some species
have lost their host-alternating behavior and have a complete life cycle
on a herbaceous secondary-host plant. Both parthenogenesis and host
alternation have enabled aphids to exploit food plants, particularly
short-lived herbaceous ones. However, many cosmopolitan species are now
able to live all year round parthenogenetically on secondary crop hosts,
and some have spread to areas where their original (primary) hosts do
not even occur.
DAMAGE TO PLANTS
Aphids draw sap from plant tissue (phloem) using mouthparts adapted for
piercing and sucking. Some aphids feed on foliage, while others feed on
the twigs, limbs, branches, fruits, flowers, or roots of plants. Some
species inject toxic salivary secretions into plants as they feed. If
left unchecked, aphids can stunt plant growth, deform and discolor
leaves and fruit, or cause galls to form on leaves, stems, and roots.
As aphid populations develop, infestation sites become littered with
empty "skins" (exoskeletons) that the aphids shed during molting. Some
species also produce large amounts of white waxy filaments that cover
their bodies and litter infested plant parts.
Many aphid species secrete a sticky substance called "honeydew", which
is similar to sugar water. This energy-rich anal secretion falls on
leaves and other objects below the infestation. A fungus called "sooty
mold" colonizes on honeydew-covered surfaces, causing them to be covered
with a black coating. As a result, sunlight is unable to reach the leaf
surface, which restricts photosynthesis which produces the plant sugars.
Honeydew-covered surfaces, including car exteriors, decks, and
sidewalks, become sticky and blackened with sooty mold.
Honeydew also attracts ants, flies, and other insects. Some aphid
species depend heavily on ants for survival and dispersal. The
honeydew-loving ants "tend" the aphids and prey upon natural enemies and
unhealthy aphids. Ants also carry aphids to uninfested parts of plants.
Some ants even harvest and overwinter the eggs of the corn root aphid.
Certain aphids are important vectors (spreaders) of plant diseases,
particularly viruses. The cotton aphid is known to transmit more than 50
plant viruses, and the green peach aphid more than 100.
Aphid populations are best monitored by routine (once or twice a week)
visual inspections of plants that are potential hosts. Aphids can occur
anywhere on the plants, but they are often found on the underside of the
leaves or on the new growth. Yellow sticky cards, available from garden
stores and nurseries, are effective tools for monitoring winged aphid
populations, particularly in greenhouses.
For more information on aphids, please contact C.W. Roberts, County
Extension Agent-Aqriculture, at 915-447-9041, or come by the County Extension Office at 700 Daggett-Suite E., in Pecos.|
Six scholarships offered for cattle industry
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers
Foundation makes $9,000 available
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation
has announced that it will make six scholarships worth $9,000 available
to young persons planning careers related to the cattle industry.
Funding for the $1,500 scholarships is provided through the Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association's participation in the Ivomec:
Generations of Excellence program.
The 120-year-old association created its foundation in 1979 for
charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes connected with
preserving the history of the cattle industry.
"Nothing is more important than providing a sound education for
tomorrow's producers," according to Bradford S. Barnes, foundation
president. "Those planning to work in the changing cattle industry into
the next century will need to be proficient in animal and crop sciences,
business economics and communications."
Coney Burgess, TSCRA president, added, "That's why TSCRA is providing
through our foundation the six $1,500 scholarships to help deserving
young cattlemen or cattlewomen."
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation Ivomec scholarships
will be awarded based on the applicant's interest in the industry,
leadership, academic achievement, organizational involvement and
financial need. Applicants must be juniors or seniors attending
universities within the Texas A&M University system, Texas Tech
University or Oklahoma State University.
Interested youth who are U.S. citizens residing in Texas or Oklahoma
should request application forms directly from TSCRF. Completed
applications must be postmarked on or before July 5, 1997.
In a joint statement, Barnes and Burgess said they are pleased to team
up with Ivomec to offer these scholarship opportunities to young persons
in Texas and Oklahoma. There is no question that education, along with
practical experience, is key to the future competitiveness of the U.S.
cattle industry. Offering these scholarships is just one of the ways in
which TSCRA and its foundation can help prepare and develop tomorrow's
leaders, the two agreed.
Introduced in 1996, the Ivomec: Generations of Excellence program has
provided more than $500,000 to help fund youth-focused scholarship and
leadership initiatives at the state level through organizations that
support the cattle industry. Funding levels are based on cattle
producers' purchase of Ivomec (ivermectin) brand products, that are
marketed by program sponsor, Merck AgVet.
For more information about the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers
Foundation Ivomec scholarships, contact Bill Benson, TSCRF Ivomec
Scholarships, 1301 West Seventh Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102, or call 817-332-7064.
Two years of tuition-free
horticulture training offered
Premier display garden offers program
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - One of the world's premier display gardens is
offering tuition-free two-year training in horticulture for more than a
dozen men and women.
From June 1 through August 31, 1997, Longwood Gardens near Kennett
Square, Pa., will accept applications for its tuition-free Professional
Gardener Training Program, which will begin the next class in March of
This unusual program is a two-year opportunity for 14 men and women to
obtain a broad base of horticultural knowledge at Longwood Gardens, the
world's premier display garden.
Successful applicants receive free housing, a basic living expense
stipend, thorough horticultural training, and professional experience
Applicants for the Professional Gardener Training Program must have a
high school diploma, have been in the upper half of their graduating
class, and have one year of employment in gardening. Prospective
candidates who want to learn more about the program can sign up for a
free Open House on July 25 or August 1, 1997; for details, telephone
610-388-1000 ext 524.
Longwood Gardens was developed by Pierre S. du Pont from 1906 until his
death in 1954. Located 30 miles west of Philadelphia in the historic
Brandywine Valley, Longwood includes 1,050 acres of gardens, meadows,
wetlands, and woodlands, with outdoor formal and informal areas, 4 acres
of heated conservatories enclosing 20 indoor gardens, 11,000 types of
plants, fountains, a nursery, greenhouse production range, and research
Pierre du Pont's vision included creating a school where students could
learn the arts of horticulture and floriculture. His dream became a
reality when the Professional Gardener Training Program was established
During two years of training, students spend 2-4 days each week working
with the gardening staff and 1-3 days in the classroom or working on
Participants rotate monthly through seven major areas, comprising flower
garden, nursery, conservatory display, greenhouse production, grounds
keeping, arboriculture, and research. More than 40 courses in
floriculture, botany, pest management, plant identification,
propagation, and landscape design and construction are offered. The
classes are taught by Longwood staff and other professionals.
Individuals work on special projects, such as maintaining the
greenhouse, gardens, and grounds at the student learning center.
Students are also responsible for designing their own perennial and
vegetable gardens. They participate in field trips to private and public
gardens, estates, nurseries, greenhouses, and natural areas.
The current class of students is very diverse. Ages range from students
right out of high school to those developing a second career. They come
from Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Missouri,
All believe this program is an essential element needed to begin a
successful career in horticulture. Current Professional Gardener Trainee
Rick Shaw describes the program as being a highly intensive experience
where the students become immersed in horticulture.
Since the program was instituted in 1970, there have been 148 graduates,
with 85 percent having made careers in either commercial or public
Peter Doele (1988) found the program to be very tough but every part of
his training has proven valuable in his career. Doele is now the retail
manager at Romance Gardens and Greenhouses in Grand Rapids, Mi. Kathy
Truax (1988) credits the Professional Gardener Training Program with
imparting tremendous amounts of support, expertise, and horticultural
knowledge from the Longwood staff. The Professional Gardener Training
Program prepared Truax to successfully work up to her current position
as the Supervisor of Display Gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Bill Miller (1974) of Bill's Landscaping in Hammond, Indiana, found his
time at Longwood Gardens provided the practical training needed to begin
his own business.
Longwood Gardens also has four other student programs: 3- to 12-month
college internships; a 12-month international gardener training program;
and two high school work experience programs. Other educational
opportunities available through Longwood Gardens include continuing
education classes and lectures. A master's degree program in public
horticulture administration is offered in conjunction with the
University of Delaware.
Longwood Gardens is committed to the principle of equal educational
opportunities without discrimination by race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, age, presence of a legally protected disability, or any
other legally protected status.
For more information on Longwood and its many programs, contact Longwood
Gardens, P.O. Box 501, Kennett Square, PA 19348-0501 or telephone
610-388-1000 ext 524. For recorded information for callers from the
mid-Atlantic region (Connecticut to Virginia), telephone 800-737-5500.
A video entitled Horticultural Career Training at Longwood Gardens and a
contact list of Professional Gardener Training Program Graduates are
available by contacting the Student Programs Office. Complete
information is also available from Longwood on-line at www.longwoodgardens.org.
Fourth of July picnic - an American tradition
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - The 4th of July celebration is special for most
Americans. As with many holidays, the celebration includes food, drinks,
and the realization of how fortunate we are as a nation.
Though we do not have a fixed menu for this celebration, you can almost
always count on traditional favorites, such as hamburgers and hot dogs,
chicken, ribs, garden salads, potato salad, chips, watermelons, baked
beans, and beer. Did you ever wonder where these foods were produced?
The food on this holiday's menu is produced in many areas of our nation,
but we want to highlight certain states and counties that are the top
producers. Let's look at some 1992 Census of Agriculture State and
county data. The beef on your backyard grill could have come from Texas.
It was the leading state in cattle and calves sold, with 11.5 million
head. Weld County, Co., was the top county in cattle and calves sold,
with over 925,000 head. Deaf Smith County, Tx., and Texas County, Ok.,
were second and third, respectively.
Now we know the answer to the question "Where's the beef?" but a more
perplexing question might be "Where's the pork?" Iowa, traditionally the
top state in hogs and pigs sold, accounted for about one fourth of the
nation's total. However, your hot dogs and ribs may have originated in
Duplin County, N.C., which made its way to the number one position in
hogs and pigs sold, up from 11th in 1987.
Sampson County, N.C., followed closely, with Sioux County, Ia., in the
number three position.
What about the mustard that you might put on your hot dog or hamburger?
Where were the seeds for mustard production grown? Bottineau, Ramsey,
and Towner Counties in North Dakota accounted for about 55 percent of
all mustard seed production.
The chicken on your barbecue grill may have come from one of the
traditional broiler producing states. Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, North
Carolina, and Mississippi are the top five. These five leading states
accounted for about 60 percent of total production in 1992. Sussex
County, De., several hundred miles away from the heart of broiler
production, was the leading county in the nation during 1992. It alone
produced over 194 million broilers. If you're like many health-conscious
Americans, you might enjoy a good salad on July 4th.
Calling California "America's salad bowl" is no misnomer. One fourth of
all land used for vegetable production in 1992 was in California. Over
one half of all lettuce produced in the United States came from Monterey
County, Calif., and Yuma County, Arz.
As for the tomatoes in your salad or in the ketchup on your hamburger or
hot dog, California and Florida had almost 80 percent of all acres in
tomatoes harvested. Let's not forget about carrots. Rabbits would be in
heaven in Kern and Imperial counties in California. These two counties
accounted for over 83 percent of California's carrot acreage in 1992.
The potatoes in your potato salad, or used to make potato chips, may
have come from Aroostook County, Me., Bingham County, Id., or Grant,
Benton, or Franklin Counties in Washington. These five counties
accounted for almost 22 percent of all potatoes grown in the United
States. And now for the baked beans: Where did they originate? Perhaps
they came from North Dakota, Michigan, or Nebraska. These three states
produced just over 53 percent of all dry edible beans. Notable counties
were Grand Forks, N.D., Huron, Mi. and Twin Falls, Id.
For dessert, watermelon may be a consideration. In 1992, five states
Texas, Florida, Georgia, California, and South Carolina produced about
two-thirds of the nation's watermelons. The top watermelon producing
counties in 1992 were Hildago, Tx., with 9,112 acres harvested (4.1
percent of the total) and Dunklin, Mo., with 5,771 acres harvested (2.7
percent of the total). It should be noted that even though individual
county production percentages appear small, 44 counties produced just
over one half of all watermelons harvested in 1992.
On the beverage menu, if you prefer something festive, a cold beer might
be your choice. The hops in your beer are grown in only a few areas of
the nation. Four counties: Yakima and Benton, Wa., Marion, Or., and
Canyon, Id., produced just over 98 percent all of the hops grown in the
United States in 1992. Yakima and Benton counties accounted for just over 78 percent of the hops production.
Have you done proper estate planning?
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By MARK R. ENSIAN JD, CPA,
Attorney at Law
PECOS, June 24, 1997 - A nagging question drifts through the minds of
many people who have substantial property, who are concerned about
keeping control of that property and who want to pass it on to their
loved ones. That nagging question is: "Have I done proper estate
The following questions focus attention on this important question.
Carefully consider each one. The right answer could prove beneficial to
your financial health and the well-being of your family.
1. Have you planned for yourself and your loved ones without giving up
control of your affairs?
2. Have you planned for the possibility of your own disability?
3. Does your estate plan give what you own to whom you want, the way and
when you want them to receive it?
4. Does your estate plan maximize you savings of tax dollars,
professional fees and probate costs?
5. Is your estate plan based on your current family and financial
If you answered "No" to any of these questions, your estate plan may not
be as comprehensive or complete as it should be. Most people have estate
plans that employ conventional, age-old planning tools, such as wills,
joint ownership of property and beneficiary designations for insurance
and pension benefits. Each of these planning tools has disadvantages
that may result in one or more of the above questions being answered
"No." Let's examine the potential pitfalls of each of these traditional
estate planning tools.
Wills guarantee probate. Probate generates attorney and executor fees.
Probate may cause significant delay before your loved ones can receive
their inheritance. The probate process often imposes a psychological
cost on the family, particularly on the surviving spouse who is left
with the responsibility of taking care of all financial and property
Wills are fully public. Anyone who wants to know about your will, your
family and your financial affairs may inspect the court records at the
court house. Private information such as the list of assets owned at
death, along will the value of each asset, will be fully public too.
Wills provide no protection in case of disability. Wills will not help
you or your family with the complex problems estate without the benefit
of that of property or business management that may arise in the event
of your own disability. Disability may result in a living probate,
called a guardianship in Texas, that will probably be much more costly,
time-consuming and debilitating than probate of a will at death. The
court will be in control of the affairs of the disabled-person and
require reports and court hearings to monitor the activities of the
guardian, who is often the spouse or a child. Wills usually do not
control all the willmaker's property. Assets such as life insurance
proceeds, retirement benefits or jointly held property pass without
control by the will. This may result in distributions to unexpected
beneficiaries and adverse tax consequences. Wills are often bare-bones
documents. They are often written in hard- to-comprehend language. They
do not capture the willmaker's hopes, fears, dreams, values and
ambitions for themselves and their families. Wills don't move well.
They may not be effective if their makers move to or own property in
Ownership of property in another state will probably require another
probate of the will in that state. Wills may have unexpected results
when probated in another state.
Joint ownership of property with rights of survivorship has a number of
pitfalls as a planning tool. Jointly owned property may pass to
unintended heirs. Joint ownership does not avoid probate, just delays it
until the surviving joint owner's death. Joint ownership between
non-spouses or between parents and children may result in unintended
gift and estate taxes. Joint ownership does not allow you to give your
property to whom you want, the way you want and when you want.
Joint ownership of property does not provide planning for estate taxes.
The jointly held property will pass to the survivor but the estate tax
on that property will have to he paid by the estate without the benefit
of that property to pay the tax.
Beneficiary designations - using the box
Control of a major portion of your estate after your death will be lost
by using, a standard beneficiary designation. You will not be able to
leave instructions or guidance for your love ones with a beneficiary
designation. The wrong beneficiary may be named in the designation if it
is not frequently reviewed in light of changing circumstances. No
protection from creditors or unscrupulous people is provided when using
Creditors of the beneficiary will have access to the proceeds when they
are received to satisfy the beneficiary's debts. Unscrupulous
organizations and even distant family members may visit with their hands
extended for a gift. Equal distributions using a beneficiary designation
may cause unequal results and not meet the special needs of your family.
Beneficiary designations make no provision for tax planning. A
beneficiary may receive the proceeds while the estate of the decedent
will have to pay the estate taxes on those proceeds
A Comprehensive Solution
Proper estate planning provides a comprehensive solution to the above
pitfalls while achieving your goals. It keeps you in control of your
property while providing for your disability and later, the distribution
of your property to those you want to receive it.
A proper estate plan provides special instructions for your own care and
that of your loved ones. These loving instructions distinguish a
properly drafted revocable living trust from traditional planning tools.
A revocable living trust is created and put in place during your
lifetime. It is under your control and you can easily change and update
it if circumstances change.
Proper estate planning is a process that should be thorough and
comprehensive, done in conjunction with your accountant and other
financial advisors This team approach assures you of excellence in
planning. Proper planning can be done quickly, comfortably and
Proper estate planning should answer "Yes" to each diagnostic question
we posed at the beginning by: planning for yourself and your loved ones
while retaining control of your property until your disability or death;
planning for the possibility of your own disability and leaving
instructions for your care when you are not able to care for yourself
and your property; maximizing your savings of tax dollars, professional
fees and probate costs; and allowing you to carefully update your estate
plan as your family and financial circumstances change.
When you work with creative estate-planning professionals, there is
tremendous flexibility in how you can plan. By creative use of many
options, you can achieve very substantial tax savings while passing
property to your children or grandchildren in a way that ensures they
will have what they need when they need it.
In addition, your carefully crafted comprehensive estate plan can: keep
your personal and financial information private and confidential. Create
customized plans for young children, for children with special needs and
plans to pass your property to adult children and grand- children; and
appoint those people you trust who will be responsible to carry out your
instructions and care for you and your property. For busy people there
never seems to be a really "good" time to make a comprehensive estate
plan. But delay can have very unfortunate consequences. Now is as "good"
a time as any to review your estate plan. It may affect many lives for
many years in the future. Does it do what you intend for ii to do? Have
you done proper estate planning?
Your estate plan can truly come to life by adding your loving concern to
the caring efforts of your attorney, your accountant and other
Source: Grain Sorghum News, published monthly by the National Grain
Sorghum Producers in cooperation with the sorghum checkoff boards of
Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. Address: Grain Sorghum News P. O. Box 530
Abernathy, Texas 79311 Phone: (806)298-4501.
Oil industry may improve in next millennium
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - A group of the top analysts see a very bright
future for the U.S. and International oil and gas industry, according to
the latest "Survey of Forecasters" conducted by the Oil & Gas Journal
As a new millennium draws near, the analysts see sustained industry
growth well into the next century. Worldwide and U.S. consumption of oil
and natural gas will grow significantly over the forecast period,
According to the composite forecast of these analysts, the U.S. demand
for petroleum products will be 15.8 percent higher in 2010 than it was
in 1996. This will be an increase in consumption of 2.885 million b/d to
a total in 2010 of 21.119 million b/d.
Worldwide demand for petroleum products is projected to move up 27.7
percent by 2010 to total 91.719 million b/d. This will be an increase of
19.9 million b/d.
The world supply of crude oil will have to follow and is expected to
increase 29.8 percent over the forecast period to average 93 million b/d
All of this translates into a substantial increase in exploration,
drilling and production over the next decade.
Spurring this growth in demand will be modest prices for crude oil and
natural gas over the next several years, 1997-2000. In the U.S. both
crude oil and natural gas prices are expected to be lower over this
period than 1996, when prices were temporarily boosted by severe winter
weather and an unexpected surge in demand.
The projected U.S. average wellhead price for crude oil will average
only $17.25/bbl in 2000, 6.6 percent below the average of $18.47/bbl in
1996. But this will change later in the forecast period and demand
pressures are expected to accelerate the price increase. The U.S.
average wellhead price is expected to jump to $22.28/bbl by the year
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot price will follow a similar
pattern and average only $20.61/bbl in 2000, down from $22.01/bbl in
1996. By 2010 the price is projected to be $26.17/bbl, growing by 2.4
percent per year from 2000.
Natural gas prices are projected to follow the same pattern with the
average U.S. wellhead price remaining relatively low through the year
2000 and then climbing. The U.S. average natural gas wellhead price
averages $2.25/mcf in 1996 and is projected to average only $2.12/mcf in
2000. The price is then forecast to climb gradually to $2.69/mcf in 2010.
Expectations are very favorable for the U.S. natural gas industry, with
significant growth projected for consumption, domestic production, and
imports over the entire forecast period. U.S. demand for natural gas is
projected to increase steadily over the forecast period, setting new
records almost every year.
Demand is expected to increase to 27.8 tcf in 2010, up 26 percent from
1996. U.S. domestic production is forecast to move up along with demand,
increasing to 24.3 tcf in 2010, up from 19.1 tcf in 1996. To fill the
gap U.S. natural gas imports will increase 4.2 percent per year from
2.86 tcf in 1996 to 3.37 tcf in 2000, and then 1.4 percent per year to
3.88 tcf I 2010.
According to this group of industry experts, by year 2000, crude oil
production in the U.S. will have fallen to 6.2 million b/d from 6.47
million b/d in 1996. U.S. output will continue to slide to 5.9 million
b/d in 2010.
Rising world demand and slow growth in non-OPEC countries will result in
an increase in OPEC output which will move up to 37.6 million b/d in
2010 from 25.8 million b/d in 1996.
Primarily to support the increased natural gas production total wells
drilled in the U.S. are expected to jump to 23,340 in the year 2000 and
28,400 in 2005, up from 20,904 in 1996. Increased efficiency will hold
down the growth rate in active drilling rigs. The number of U.S. active
oil drilling rigs are expected to decline slightly to 298 in 2000, from
306 in 1996. The number of active gas rigs will increase to 480 in 2000
from 464 in 1996.
U.S. crude oil and product imports will increase over the forecast
period. Total U.S. crude and product imports are projected to be 12.98
million b/d in 2010 compared to 9.4 million b/d in 1996.
The Survey of Forecasters, conducted twice a year in May and November,
includes forecasts for 47 energy industry indicators gathered from
participating companies and forecasts from economic experts from Oil &
Gas Journal, the Department of Energy, IPAA, and other sources where
available. With twenty-three companies participating in the eighteenth
Survey of Forecasters, this reference book makes an invaluable partner
in analyzing the industry for future operations and decisions. Range and
mean calculations have been indicated for most survey items. Annual
growth rates are calculated for the periods 1996-2000 and 2000-2010.
The "Survey of Forecasters" is available as a book and on diskette.
Contact Sandra Meyer, Oil & Gas Journal Energy Database, 1421 S.
Sheridan, Tulsa, OK 74112 or call 918-832-9346 or 800-345-4618. Fax: 918-831-9497. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Move to kill ethanol incentives
may cost jobs, consumers
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - At least 120,000 Americans will lose their jobs
and consumers nationwide will lose an estimated $5.4 billion every year
if Congress goes along with a plan to eliminate the ethanol gas
incentive, according to a nationwide study.
Legislation to end the federal ethanol program - a 5.4 cent per gallon
exemption on the 18.3 cent per gallon federal gasoline excise tax - is
being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee's
chairman, Rep. Bill Archer (R., Texas), is attempting to wipe out the
incentive as part of new tax legislation coinciding with the recent
bipartisan budget agreement.
The study was conducted by noted economist Dr.. John Urbancuk of AUS
Consultants in Moorestown, New Jersey for the National Corn Growers
Association (NCGA) and the Renewable Fuels Association. It concludes
that eliminating the ethanol program would cost Americans $3 billion in
higher gasoline costs, including $500 million in higher federal gasoline
taxes, as well as $2.9 billion in lost household income every year. In
addition, 120,600 U.S. workers would lose their jobs as ethanol plants
are forced to close and businesses that depend on the "ripple effect" of
the ethanol industry lose sales and cut back on personnel.
"Mr. Archer's proposal amounts to a tax increase, pure and simple, for
tens of millions of Americans who directly and indirectly benefit from
the ethanol program," said NCGA President Wallie Hardie, and
agricultural economist and Fairmount, North Dakota farmer. "This plan is
bad for consumers, bad for farmers, bad for the environment and bad for
the budget. The only industry that would benefit is Big Oil - and
they're doing quite well as it is.
"Americans did not vote for higher taxes, higher fuel prices,
unemployment and dirtier air," Hardie continued. "But that's exactly
what Mr. Archer and his friends in Big Oil are attempting to give us.
Let's hope congress will do what's right for all Americans - and not
just what's good for Big Oil."
Dr. Urbanchuk, a member of the congressional Budget Office's
Agricultural Advisory Board, has testified before Congress as an expert witness on economic issues.
Chrysler builds minivan to run
on alternative fuels
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PECOS, June 24, 1997 - Chrysler's new flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) - the
1998 Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager and Chrysler Town &Country 3.3
liter models - will be capable of using E-85 for fuel.
The company's decision to offer 3.3 liter minivans as flexible fuel
vehicles stems from a national commitment to alternative fuels.
"Chrysler recognizes the importance and potential of using alternative
fuels, especially ethanol," said Mike Clement, Chrysler's manager of
alternative fuel vehicle sales and marketing. "It's a renewable fuel
that is made right here in the heartland, contributing to an increase in
our country's energy independence."
The flexible fuel system will allow the vans to operate on E-85, a
gasoline mix that is 85 percent ethanol or on regular gasoline. It
offers upgraded components in the fuel system, including stainless steel
materials to assure a durable system. The cost of the alternative fuel
minivans will be the same as gasoline-only minivans with no added cost
for the feature.
The National Corn Growers Association, Midwestern governors and ethanol
producers have been behind E-85 as an alternative fuel for years and
have been anticipating large-scale production of E-85 vehicles by a
major U.S. automaker.
Wallie Hardie, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a
corn grower from North Dakota was excited to hear about the E-85
Terry Branstad, Governor of Iowa and Chair of the Governors' Ethanol
Coalition, is thrilled about the availability of an E-85 vehicle for
state and federal government fleets.
"An E-85 minivan is exactly what many of the fleet managers in the
Midwest are looking for," he said, "and we're pleased that Chrysler is
going to build enough of them at no additional cost, making them the
vehicle of choice to hundreds of fleets."
Ron Miller, chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association said, "We are
extremely pleased with the addition of Chrysler's E-85 minivan. It is an
increasingly popular vehicle with today's driver, and owning it in E-85
will encourage drivers and fleet managers to make ethanol their fuel of
Chrysler's commitment to E-85 reflects the largest production of any
form of alternative fuel vehicle, in any model year, by any manufacturer
domestic or import.
The vans will be produced in two plants, one located in Windsor,
Ontario, Canada, and the other in St. Louis, Missouri. Production is
scheduled to begin in the fall of 1998.
Source: The National Corn Growers Association |
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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